The all-day special broadcast celebrating KPFA’s 40th anniversary continues with a documentary about Elsa Knight Thompson. Throughout the 1960’s, KPFA Public Affairs Director Elsa Knight Thompson was an extraordinary and controversial programmer. Her experience with the BBC in London during World War II and in Washington D. C. at WCFM prepared her for a scintillating career as a radio journalist at KPFA, and her direct and incisive interviews of both left and right-wing figures were... Topics: KPFA-FM, Interview and Music, Current Events
Charles Amirkhanian talks with one of America's most distinguished composers, Lou Harrison, whose use of gamelan instruments and interest in other musics of the world helped bring an appreciation of Pacific and Asian music to the U.S. William Colvig has collaborated with Harrison for many years, building original and gamelan-inspired instruments. The program begins with Eric Marin's film documenting Harrison & Colvig, and continues with excerpts from Harrison's Piano Concerto (featuring... Topics: Interview and Music, Unconventional Instruments, New Music Source: Other Minds
Broughton’s unique cinematic and poetic observations of the cosmic/comic human situation are reflected in this 1973 interview conducted by Charles Amirkhanian on the occasion of Broughton’s 60th birthday (November 10, 1973). Born in Modesto California, Broughton was one of the San Francisco poetry renaissance writers, and the maker of the prize-winning film, “The Bed”, among others. Broughton’s works are imbued with a sense of joy, magic, and childlike playfulness. In this program he... Topics: KPFA-FM, Interview and Music, Poetry, James Broughton
On September 14, 2005, Derk Richardson interviewed singer/violinist/composer Carla Kihlstedt at The Thick House in San Francisco. Kihlstedt studied music at Oberlin where her interests expanded from the classical repertoire to more improvisational and avant-garde music. In 1997 she co-founded the group Tin Hat Trio with Rob Burger and Mark Orton, and has also played with 2 Foot Yard and Sleepytime Gorilla Museum. In this interview she speaks about her influences and her improvising concepts in... Topics: ROVA, Improv:21, Free Improvisation, Interview and Music, Carla Kihlstedt
A program dedicated to the marvelous glass instrument, the Cristal, invented by the Baschet brothers of Paris in 1956. Consisting of glass rods, the Cristal is played by rubbing the rods with wet fingers, the way one would a wine glass, the vibrations of which are then acoustically amplified through a series of metallic resonators Host Charles Amirkhanian is joined in the KPFA studios by David James, Jerry Kuderna, Peter Josheff and Annie Hallett, who play a number of pieces live as well as... Topics: KPFA-FM, Interview and Music, Unconventional Instruments, 20th Century Classical
Britain's John Storm Roberts, formally a writer with the East African Standard, a newspaper in Kenya, talks about the influence of African music in the Western Hemisphere, and the Caribbean in particular. Musical examples of a most unusual nature from his recently released Nonesuch Explorer Series record (H-72047) serve to illustrate his dialogue with Charles Amirkhanian. Mr. Roberts is also the author of Black Music of Two Worlds, published in September of 1972 by Praeger. Topics: KPFA-FM, Interview and Music, World Music, African Music
Oliver Lake gives a crash course in his personal history and writing for many bands and performance situations. Derk Richardson interviewed the composer and sax player at San Francisco’s Thick House in October, 2005. [This is ROVA: Arts un-edited camera footage.] Topics: ROVA, Improv:21, Oliver Lake, Derk Richardson, Interview and Music
From a recording made in May of 1991, Charles Amirkhanian interviews Paul Dresher about his theatrical production, “Pioneer”, which "celebrates and exposes American explorers and the myths of the pioneering spirit." Several songs from the production are also heard. The two also discuss the difficulties in portraying offensive attitudes such as racial bigotry and the history of American colonialism. In the second half of the program is Charles and Paul are joined by Gerald Oshita... Topics: KPFA-FM, Morning Concert Series, Interview and Music, Music Theatre
A Live Concert of music by Ingram Marshall, recorded in the KPFK studio in Los Angeles. After a brief introduction by the composer we hear two short pieces of sound poetry followed by the longer work, Fragility Cycles. Topics: KPFK-FM, Interview and Music, Sound Poetry, Ingram Marshall
Laura Reichek of the Alcatraz Solidarity Committee introduces three elderly members of the Omaha Tribe who visited the KPFA studios on November 24, 1970, to record a short program of Omaha songs. The performers are Charles Edwards, Mark Merrick and Rudolph Clark of Macy, Nebraska, who came to Berkeley to help celebrate the first anniversary of the Indian landing of Alcatraz Island. The drum used in these songs is made of a wooden frame covered with cowhide. It weighs about 35 pounds and has a... Topics: KPFA-FM, Interview and Music, World Music, Native American
Charles Amirkhanian reports on The Expanded Ear music conference, held on April 27-29, 1973 at the Camp de Benneville Pines, in the San Bernardino National Forest. The highlight of the conference was the Six Acre Jam, performed over a hillside by about 60 musicians and no less than ten synthesizers. Join Charles as he takes a walk through the woods interviewing performers and composers, including Richard Bunger, Barry Gott, Jacques Bekaert, Nicolas Slonimsky & Dane Rudhyar, all while the... Topics: KPFA-FM, Interview and Music, Free Improvisation, Electro-Acoustic, Electronic
British composer, electronic music specialist, and program host, Richard Povall presents the final installment of his KPFA series, Stereochemistry, broadcast on August 27, 1990. This is a program of newly released computer music, poetry, theater, performance and technology driven art, as well as whatever else he could get his hands on, but always highlighting the use of technology in a creative way. (from KPFA Folio) Topics: KPFA-FM, Interview and Music, Performance Art, Electro-Acoustic, Electronic
In a program originally recorded in May of 1963, Rolf Cahn and Phil Huffman talk to Texas bluesman Mance Lipscomb, about his life and music. He describes growing up as a Baptist in the South, the balance between singing and playing music, as well as the origins of many of his best known songs. Throughout the discussion, Lipscomb performs a number of both, famous and obscure, acoustic blues songs, often responding to requests by Huffman and Cahn, who sound as pleased as two cats in a fish pond... Topics: KPFA-FM, Interview and Music, Popular Music, Folk Music
From a program recorded in 1968, Tom Donahue interviews Frank Zappa about his life and work, and allows the irreverent rock star to present some of his favorite music. The ensuing free form program ranges from surf music, doo-wop, jazz, the blues, to the works of Pierre Boulez. The song selection is very informative for any fan of Zappa’s music, as one can easily trace the influence of all these styles on his own creative output, be it the cheesy harmonies of 1950s pop songs or the intricate... Topics: KPFA-FM, Interview and Music, Popular Music, Frank Zappa
This live broadcast from the very new KPFA building at 1929 Martin Luther King Jr. Way in Berkeley, California aired nationally on NPR. It features the world premiere of Lou Harrison’s “Homage to Pacifica” (commissioned by the Wallace Alexander Gerbode Foundation), a six movement, 45 minute composition for narrator, soloists, mixed chorus, and Javanese gamelan ensemble. An intermission feature presents a rare recording made in 1949, just after KPFA went on the air in which Henry Cowell... Topics: KPFA-FM, Interview and Music, New Music, 20th Century Classical
Derk Richardson interviews members of the ROVA Saxophone Quartet at San Francisco’s Mission Cultural Center on June 5, 2005. They discuss the relationships of imagery to sound including the use of graphic notation in spontaneous compositions, as well as using film imagery to guide an improvisation. Konrad Steiner talks about the experimental films of Stan Brakhage, which have been used by members of ROVA as inspiration for some of their works. More like this available at radiOM Topics: ROVA, Improv:21, Free Improvisation, Jazz, Interview and Music
In a program recorded on August 19, 1970, Charles Amirkhanian and Bill Northwood highlight upcoming shows on KPFA-FM and current events in the San Francisco Bay Area. After a couple of brief musical selections by Amirkhanian and the Ba-Benzele Pygmies of the Central African Republic, the two are joined in the studio by Richard Friedman who talks about KPFA-FM's foray into ambient field recordings with the new series, "The World Ear Project". This is followed by an excerpt of a... Topics: Sound poetry, Interview and Music, World Music, KPFA-FM
Composer/percussionist/improviser Gino Robair gathers an improv-orchestra of 40 Bay Area improvisers to help him demonstrate his music and methods for his opera in progress called: I Norton Derk Richardson interviewed Robair at 21 Grand gallery in Oakland, on February 1, 2006. (This is Rova:Arts un-edited camera footage.) Topics: ROVA, Improv:21, Free Improvisation, Interview and Music, Gino Robair
Recorded in 1974 by the Radio Nederland Transcription Service, a program about music and culture in the Netherlands. The program begins with a performance by, and interview with, Larry Weinstein, an American student at the Netherlands Carillon School in Amersfoort. Then, after a brief review of a book about how the theories of two 19th century American fringe scientists about the Earth being hollow and habitable on the inside influenced some of the stories of Edgar Allan Poe, the program... Topics: Avant-garde, Interview and Music, 20th century classical
Charles Amirkhanian reviews a concert by the San Francisco Conservatory New Music Ensemble of avant-garde or experimental music, by mostly young English composers, which was held on March 21, 1974 and was to be repeated the next day. Works heard include an arrangement of an early 20th century waltz, a song based on a Chinese melody by Cornelius Cardew, and a rondo by Christopher Hobbs. Also heard are two pieces by Gavin Bryars, one inspired by the story of the Titanic, and another by a film of... Topics: KPFA-FM, Interview and Music, Avant-Garde, 20th Century Classical
In March 1963, Pierre Boulez delivered an address to the Festival of Contemporary Arts at the University of Illinois in Urbana on the topic of music and poetry. After a brief introduction by Igor Stravinsky, Boulez reflects on his work with the texts of Stephane Mallarmé and on the challenge of relating those “two sacred monsters’, music and poetry. After tracing the history of setting poetry to music, Boulez defends his own “abstract” way of handling texts, all the while insisting... Topics: KPFA-FM, Interview and Music, Lecture, Panel Discussion, Pierre Boulez
Harry Partch discusses receiving notariety using a scale of 43 separate tones and original instruments with references to his "Genesis of a Music." There is a brief introduction to "Twelve Intrusions," this recording which is played by five musicians under Partch's direction. The pieces are: Study in an Ancient Phrygian Scale, Study in the Ancient Greek Enharmonic Scale, The Rose, The Crane, The Wind, The Waterfall, The Letter, The Street, Vanity, Lover, Soldiers/War/Another... Topics: Interview and Music, Microtonal music, Unconventional Instruments, Harry Partch Source: Other Minds
Composer John Vincent (b. 1902, Birmingham, Alabama) is best known for his “Symphony in D” which was recorded and often played by Eugene Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra. His music is exuberant and joyful and makes for some fine listening in this program which also includes an interview recorded in Los Angeles. You will hear his “Symphony in D,” “Quartet No. 2 for Strings” (1967), “Symphonic Poem after Descartes” (1958), and the “Benjamin Franklin Suite for String... Topics: KPFA-FM, Interview and Music, 20th Century Classical, John Vincent
Charles Amirkhanian interviews Manfred Eicher, the founder and director of ECM Records. Topics discussed include the influence of ECM, its unique sound, and the work of its best known artists, including Keith Jarrett, Arvo Pärt, and Jan Garbarek. The advantages of certain recording techniques and venues are also mentioned. This Interview was recorded in June, 1985 in Munich Germany. Topics: KPFA-FM, Interview and Music, Jazz, ECM Records, Manfred Eicher
A program in honor of Nicolas Slonimsky in celebrations of his 97th birthday. Charles Amirkhanian plays a number of pieces by and for Slonimsky, including a couple of his own compositions. Also heard is a telephone conversation between Slonimsky and Charles Amirkhanian in which they discuss the latest edition of Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians of which Slonimsky is the editor. Slonimsky also discusses the advances in musical composition during the last century including... Topics: KPFA-FM, Interview and Music, 20th Century Classical, Nicolas Slonimsky
Dan McClosky interviews Little Milton, the well-known blues guitarist and soul singer. Little Milton got his musical education, as did many rhythm and blues artists of his age, in the black churches of the South. In this wide ranging interview he describes his humble beginnings and his early fascination with the guitar, as well as discussing the various blues musicians that influenced him. The interview is peppered with excerpts of many of the songs and performers mentioned, including those by... Topics: KPFA-FM, Interview and Music, Popular Music, Little Milton
On June 27, 1969, Richard Maxfield, 42, jumped out of a window of the Figueroa Hotel in Los Angeles, ending his tragically short life during which he became known as one of the earliest and foremost electronic music composers. Maxfield studied at U. C. Berkeley, performed concerts widely, and taught at the New School in New York City and then at the San Francisco State University in the late 1960s. In this program, Charles Amirkhanian plays a selection from Maxfield’s vast output, including... Topics: KPFA-FM, Interview and Music, Electro-Acoustic, Electronic, Richard Maxfield
In this December 1962 program from the KPFA archives, composers Ramón Sender and Robert Moran (then graduate students in composition at Mills College), talk with Will Ogdon and John Whiting of the KPFA staff. Also present was dancer Judith Wickware who had worked with Anne Halprin. The two composers discuss the role of aleatoric, or chance music, in their work. Topics: KPFA-FM, Interview and Music, New Music, 20th Century Classical
In another segment from KPFA’s all day broadcast celebrating its 40th anniversary, Charles Amirkhanian introduces a program of unusual “airchecks” (recordings made during a live broadcast), saved by KPFA producers during strategic moments. You will thrill to the sounds of Bill Schechner, who later went on to a career with NBC News, reading headlines from the wire services on April 1, 1978, complete with impertinent asides; Kris Welch in a confrontational interview with Wayne Dyer, author... Topics: KPFA-FM, Interview and Music, Current Events, Folk Music
Charles Shere talks to Philip Winsor about his work, Sound Study I, written at the San Francisco Tape Music Center, was followed two years later with his Sound Study II, produced at the Milan Studio. Together they try to sort the differences in achievement out of the similarities of means. A classic example of a classically trained composer (Shere) trying to get his head around the process of composing electronic music. (- from the KPFA Folio) Topics: KPFA-FM, Interview and Music, Electro-Acoustic, Electronic, Phil Winsor
In honor of Imbrie's 50th birthday Charles Amirkhanian interviews the composer Andrew Imbrie and San Francisco Chronicle music critic Robert Commanday. Topics discussed include Imbrie's early influences; neoclassicism vs. romanticism. Topics: KPFA-FM, Interview and Music, 20th Century Classical, Andrew Imbrie
In December 1970, Charles visited Böske Antheil (widow of the late composer) at her home in Los Angeles. During a search of the family archives two acetate private recordings of the Third (1947) and Fifth Piano Sonata (1950) were discovered. The performances were by Frederick Marvin who also performs the Fourth Sonata (1948) on an early LP recording (Alco ALP 1007). The program begins with a performance of the Second Sonata, "Airplane," composed in 1922. This contrasting work in the... Topics: Interview and Music, New Music, 20th Century Classical, George Antheil
The eminent musicologist and humorist Peter Schickele, discover of P.D. Q. Bach talks with conductor George Cleve about the works of this obscure, umpteenth child of J. S Bach. Best described as a manic plagiarizer P.D.Q. Bach has been entertaining audiences with his music for decades. The occasion for this broadcast was a preview of a concert Schickele was about to give with the San Jose Symphony Orchestra. Topics: KPFA-FM, Interview and Music, Orchestral Music, P.D.Q. Bach
Charles Amirkhanian introduces Lou Harrison, who then introduces two of his works. The first is Solstice, a ballet written for the Jean Erdman Dance Group and scored for flute, oboe, trumpet, 2 celli, bass, tack piano, and celesta. The second work is a collection of his Peace Pieces, recorded on August 17, 1968 at the Cabrillo Music Festival. All the Peace Pieces are political protest pieces. Topics: Interview and Music, 20th Century Classical, Orchestral Music
On February 10, 1986, as part of it’s fund raising marathon, KPFA dedicated an entire day of programming to the music of Frank Zappa, including this four hour long segment, during which Zappa joined Charles Amirkhanian, live in the studio to talk about his work and his fight against censorship, as well as to take part in an hour long panel discussion on gang violence and its relationship to rock music and Satanism. Although much of the time is taken up with pleas for money, Zappa manages to... favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 1 reviews ) Topics: KPFA-FM, Interview and Music, Popular Music, Frank Zappa
Han Reiziger of VPRO (Dutch Radio) hosted a number of KPFA broadcasts in 1974 as part of an exchange program. In this edition he introduces the works of six Dutch composers, several of which are very rare in United States, to this day. Included are incidental music by Alphons Diepenbrock, two re-workings of the Dutch national anthem by Anthon van der Horst and Louis Andriessen, a symphony by Cornelis Dopper, a seldom heard avant-garde piece by Bernard van Beurden, and an aleatoric work for two... favoritefavoritefavorite ( 1 reviews ) Topics: KPFA-FM, Interview and Music, Han Reiziger, 20th Century Classical
From KSJN (St. Paul, Minnesota) host Melinda Ward, of the Walker Art Center, introduces interviews and music by composers that were featured during the 1980 New Music America Festival in St. Paul Minnesota. This includes lengthy excerpts from Robert Ashley’s opera “Perfect Lives (Private Parts) and Alvin Curran’s mixed media piece “Small Circles Great Plains”. Also included is a free improvisation with violinist Leroy Jenkins and saxophonist Oliver Lake, works for piano by William... Topics: KPFA-FM, KSJN, Interview and Music, Electro-Acoustic, Electronic, New Music
Carl Stone of Los Angeles joins Charles Amirkhanian to talk about his music, including pieces that sample a songs by Whitney Houston (How will I know) and the Beach Boys (Fun, Fun, Fun). Also Nicolas Slonimsky pops in to talk about his career, much of it popularizing the music of Varese and other modern composers. Topics: KPFA-FM, Morning Concert Series, Interview and Music, Electro-Acoustic, Electronic, Carl Stone,...
London based vocalist Najma's commercial recording, "Atish" (Shanachie Records), which means "Fire" in the Indian language Urdu, mixes ancient Persian love poems with jazz saxophone, bass, keyboards, tabla, violin, and layer upon layer of hauntingly beautiful vocals. Charles Amirkhanian speaks with the young world beat star and introduces selections from this compact disc, originally recorded for the English Triple Earth label. (- from the KPFA Folio) Topics: KPFA-FM, Morning Concert series, Interview and Music, World Music, Najma Akhtar
From a program recorded on January 25, 1990, Charles Amirkhanian interviews the Chinese American composer, baritone saxophonist, and political activist, Fred Ho about a scheduled performance of his ballet “A Song for Manong”. A Harvard educated sociologist turned composer, Fred Ho’s music has been heavily influenced by the music of John Coltrane and Charlie Mingus as well as the politics of the Black Panther Party and the plight of American immigrants. In this brief interview he talks to... Topics: KPFA-FM, Morning Concert Series, Interview and Music, Jazz, Fred Ho
Composer Anthony Gnazzo introduces a number of his compositions, two of them finished especially for this program. Charles Amirkhanian plays his tape composition “Audience”, based on ambient sound recordings made in the garage and stairwell of the Oakland Museum, with his kitchen milk steamer at home, and at Marineworld/Africa USA. And the two just generally have fun in the KPFA studios. This is another funny and fantastic program by the dynamic duo of text-sound composition. (from KPFA... Topics: KPFA-FM, Interview and Music, Sound Poetry, Electro-Acoustic, Electronic, Anthony Gnazzo, Charles...
Charles Amirkhanian interviews Pierre Boulez and Andrew Gerzso as part of the Speaking of Music series. Boulez discusses the pros and cons of microtonal music, spatial music, as well as delving into the technical details of his latest work, "Répons". Topics: KPFA-FM, Interview and Music, Electro-Acoustic, Electronic, Pierre Boulez, Speaking of Music series
Percussionist William Winant was born in Los Angeles to a family of accomplished actors and musicians. He studied at Los Angeles City College and Cal Arts before doing advanced studies at York University in Toronto in 1979. He returned to the West Coast to study with composer Lou Harrison at Mills College in Oakland and has performed with the Abel-Steinberg-Winant Trio. Charles Amirkhanian interviews with this talkative and gifted Bay Area instrumentalist. (from KPFA Folio) Topics: KPFA-FM, Morning Concert Series, Interview and Music, 20th Century Classical, New Music, William...
Violinist Daniel Kobialka is interviewed by Charles Amirkhanian after having recently returned from Atlanta, GA, where he gave the world premiere of the Ben Weber Violin Concerto, . Kobialka, who is on the faculty at Hayward State, talks about his many performances of scores by living composers including Lou Harrison, Henry Brant, Leonard Bernstein, & many more. In addition Kobialka describes his first forays into composition, including a collaboration with a rock band. (from KPFA Folio) Topics: KPFA-FM, Interview and Music, New Music, 20th Century Classical, Daniel Kobialka
Charles Amirkhanian talks to composer Benjamin Lees about his memories of living in Paris including playing chess with Marcel Duchamp and meeting other famous artists. We then hear the premier performance of Lees’ Concerto for brass choir and orchestra. Topics: KPFA-FM, Morning Concert series, Interview and Music, 20th Century Classical, Orchestral Music,...
From a recording made on November 11, 1984 as part of the San Francisco Exploratorium’s Speaking of Music series, Charles Amirkhanian interviews Meredith Monk about her life and career. Recent works discussed include her mixed media performance art piece "Games", her musical recording "Dolmen Music", and two experimental videos "Ellis Island" and "Rally". She also performs a few songs from her opera "Education of the Girlchild". Topics: Speaking of Music Series at the Exploratorium, Interview and Music, Performance Art, Opera,...
The Center for Contemporary Music at Mills College is well known for it ambitious schedule of activities. John Bischoff and Bruce Hale talk with Charles Amirkhanian about their new activity, a Center for Contemporary Art, which is proposed to operate out of Mills and will emphasize video works and instruction. Hale describes the difficulties video artists have in getting their work distributed, due to the fact that most artist can only afford to work with half inch tape while TV only broadcasts... Topics: KPFA-FM, Ode to Gravity series, Interview and Music, Modern Art, Electro-Acoustic, Electronic
Charles Amirkhanian interviews composer Janice Giteck about her career and an upcoming concert with the SF Symphony. Ms. Giteck began her career as a Bay Area composer and teacher at UC Berkeley, and later became a member of the faculty at the Cornish Institute of the Arts in Seattle, WA., She was back in the Bay Area for the world premiere of her orchestral work Tree, which was to be played by members of the San Francisco Symphony under Edo de Waart on the New and Unusual Music series. (from... Topics: KPFA-FM, Morning Concert Series, Interview and Music, New Music, Chamber Music, Janice Giteck
Charles Amirkhanian celebrates the 88th birthday of American composer Leo Ornstein with a special concert devoted to his music. Born in Kremenchug Russia, on December 11, 1892, (or Dec. 2, 1893) he moved to the United States in 1907. His antics as a pianist, including his introducing to concert audiences around 1910 a brand of composing previously unknown, brought him a reputation as a fiery radical of the keyboard. His experiments in percussive sonorities and dissonance presaged those of... Topics: KPFA-FM, Morning Concert series, Interview and Music, 20th Century Classical, New Music, Leo...
This three hour special "Marathon Mornings" program features Charles Amirkhanian interviewing John Adams on the occasion of his fortieth birthday. Along with an in-depth interview about his compositions, collaborators, and working as composer in residence with the San Francisco Symphony under Edo de Waart, Charles and Mr. Adams do some wonderful KPFA subscription plugs. The program features several shorter works, and full presentations of Mr. Adams' recordings with the SF Symphony of... Topics: Interview and Music, KPFA, Morning Concert series, 20th Century Classical, Orchestral Music, John...